Why We Love Clara Oswald
Mark McCullough & Tayla Fonseca celebrate Jenna Coleman’s companion.
Today for Jenna Coleman’s birthday, we decided to bring back the dream team from our previous Global Phenomenon article on Ireland. Jenna is one of our favourite actresses to take part in Doctor Who, so we wanted to pay tribute. We were delighted with the news that she would be taking over as the full time companion following the Pond’s tragic exit, but even we could not have imagine just how strong a character Clara would turn out to be. Let’s start right back at the beginning…
‘Is there a word for total screaming genius that sounds modest and just a tiny bit sexy?” – Oswin Oswald (Asylum of the Daleks)
Who would have thought sitting down to watch Asylum of the Daleks that we would have got our first glimpse at the wonderful Jenna? Certainly not us! But what a pleasant surprise it was. Oswin’s character was superb and kept us on our feet throughout the duration of the episode, and neither of us could have foreseen her tragic end. Moffat certainly knows how to torture us. What we loved about Oswin was her intellect, her fiery nature and that stunning red dress. It was a joy to watch her tease the Doctor and his companions whilst keeping the Daleks at bay. But that made the revelation that she had been a Dalek all along all the more heart breaking. Naturally we were very confused by the time the credits rolled.
”Run … run, you clever boy … and remember.” – Clara Oswin Oswald (The Snowmen)
Before we knew it, it was Christmas Day and whilst we live at opposite ends of the island, I can be certain we were both glued to the TV screen watching the Doctor find Clara for the second time. It was very disheartening to see the Doctor feeling down, but we were sure that Clara would sort him out and make him back into the Doctor we loved. For most of the episode it looked never to be, but Clara’s persistence led to her eventually being given a TARDIS key. A new companion who wasn’t from modern day Earth; how exciting! But alas it wasn’t to be Clara was killed for the second time in two appearances, and we cried with the Latimer family. When she uttered the now famous words, we realised something was up and our excitement for part two of Series 7 skyrocketed.
”I don’t know where I am. I just know I’m running. Sometimes it’s like I’ve lived a thousand lives in a thousand places. I’m born, I live, I die. And always, there’s the Doctor. Always, I’m running to save the Doctor, again, and again, and again. And he hardly ever hears me. But I’ve always been there.” – Clara Oswald (The Name of the Doctor)
The mystery that arose from this scene and plagued in the gap between episodes formed the crux of the series arc which kept us on the end of our seats until the conclusion eight weeks later. Clara was reintroduced in The Bells of Saint John, this time the version that would stay with us until… well we don’t actually know but we hope that it’s for a long time still. What’s is so special about the Clara is the question we asked each week along with the Doctor. The answers seemed further away than ever with each passing episode, but the one constant standout was Clara herself. Her kind nature and selflessness in many ways made her the impossible girl, because she was presented as almost perfect.
There was also a few minor discrepancies we noticed in her character on a weekly basis, but we assumed that this was intentional to make us doubt her. Sacrifice was a theme of her character, as she offered the leaf in the The Rings of Akhaten, put herself on the line in Nightmare in Silver to protect the Maitland kids and finally her ultimate sacrifice in The Name of the Doctor which completed that particular character arc and answered the Impossible Girl mystery. She continued her mission to save the Doctor in the other two parts of the Doctor Trilogy by consoling the War Doctor and earning the Eleventh Doctor a new set of regenerations.
”Oh, don’t you ever tell me to mind my language! Don’t you ever tell me to take the stabilisers off my bike! And don’t you dare lump me in with the rest of all the little humans that you think are so tiny and silly and predictable! You walk our Earth, Doctor, you breath our air, you make us your friend. That is your moon, too, Doctor, and you can damn well help us when we need it!” – Clara Oswald (Kill the Moon)
This led us to our most recent series where Clara’s character developed a whole new dimension, this was her gradually becoming like the Doctor. We were intrigued by the fact that Clara reacted so badly to the Doctor’s regeneration, especially given that she knew what the process entailed. We reckon she may have fancied him (well one of does at least). After a turbulent start to their relationship in Deep Breath, things continued in that vein for the next few episodes. We found it particularly funny when Clara slapped him in Into the Dalek, although we do not condone violence.
Listen was perhaps one of Clara’s defining episodes as she ventured into the Doctor’s past and actually turned out to influence his life. How excited we were to realise that this was the same barn that our beloved War Doctor had stood in previously. Their relationship continued to come under pressure, then we came to Kill the Moon and everything changed.
The Doctor’s argument with Clara was hard for us to watch, we love them both so to see them fight was saddening. To choose a side was impossible and we were heartbroken when it appeared that our favourite characters were destined to split. Thankfully when Mummy on the Orient Express (an episode we both adore) came around, Clara announced she was addicted to the TARDIS and wanted to stay. This led her into the later stages of her character development, the focus on her lies. This had formed part of the series arc with her relationship with Danny Pink and it was ironic that her last lie was about Danny when he was no longer there to be lied to; how tragic! Seeing the Doctor and Clara leave on a lie was difficult, but we agreed that it was true to Clara’s selfless characterisation in Series Seven and the Doctor’s development from self-centred to caring about others in Series Eight. Thankfully we got both the wonderful symbolism and out Clara back with the help of Santa in the wonderful Last Christmas.
“There’s not much TV these days where you really get that element of surprise. There are so many spoilers all the time.” – Jenna Coleman
It’s pretty ironic that this is a quote from Jenna, given that she has surprised us and kept us guessing more than just the once. The only thing that isn’t a surprise when it comes to Clara and Jenna is just how brilliant they have been in such a short period of time. We are honoured to have had the opportunity to pay tribute to one of our favourite characters and are delighted to be able to wish Jenna a very happy birthday.